Rating: 3 out of 5
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; First Harper Trophy Edition edition (March 14, 2006)
First Sentence: "Silas Heap puled his cloak tightly around him against the snow"
At birth Septimus Heap dies. His father that same night discovers a new born baby girl dumped in the wintry woods. Ten years later the evil Supreme Custodian orders young Jenna's death as it is revealed she is really the missing princess.
This is a charming little story which never really delves to deeply into the issues it covers. There is nothing really scary or upsetting. It was filled with humor and adventure and was a fun read all round. There was nothing surprising about the story. The author did do a good job of not revealing if it was Boy 142 or the evil apprentice as being the missing Septimus. But you knew one of them was going to be the boy.
One thing I did not like was the multiple points of view. There were about ten different points of view and I struggled sometimes to see the relevance of the characters view the reader got. I just did not think some of the points of views added to the story. Some of the views I could see were there more for humor sake then plot relevance, for instance when the story was briefly told from the dogs point of view. But others just annoyed me more then anything.
I enjoyed the characters of Boy 142, Jemma and even Marsha. Boy 142 and Jemma have potential to grow into very interesting teenage characters as they are very strong willed and have a good sense of right and wrong. Marsha is just good for comedy relief. The fuss she made of her purple leather boots reminded me of far to many people I now.
The book is cute and funny. It would resonate a lot better I think with the age group it is aimed at the 9-12 bracket. The series is popular and there are a few books now in the series. I nice book to introduce a young reader to the world of fantasy.